Cassidy says the intent of the DAC is to work on some problems that are immediately critical for hospitals' population health strategies, but also to work on tomorrow's problems.
"Obtaining the real value from aggregation is really hard to do," he says. "You have to be looking over the horizon to understand what's coming—for example, doing things relative to performance based on payment models other than the government. Populations can be segmented, with different requirements based on the business relationship with whoever's financing the care."
Cassidy uses an aviation analogy to describe the approach most hospitals and health systems have toward data utilization. Most organizations have spent amply to acquire their shiny Piper Cubs and are doing well flying them, but their systems are outdated and can't go the distance. They don't provide real-time information that can prevent expensive interventions.
"They're going to have to fly 747s," he says. "Through this collaborative, we're hoping each of them doesn't have to build their own."